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Grande Dame Award



Since the inception of the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the Hall of Fame Dames in 1965, Alice Kempthorne has been part of the action.  For over 33 years she has served the Dames, ISHOF's volunteer auxiliary women's group, as either president, secretary, or treasurer, and member.  She has been one of the catalysts to provide the services to ISHOF which the Dames have gratefully contributed over the years.


But her involvement in swimming goes far beyond her commitment to ISHOF.  Since 1963, she has been involved in the aquatic sports both nationally and locally with the Amateur Athletic Union and then United States Swimming.


On the national scene, she has been involved in the planning, organizing and managing of the overall swimming program within the United States.  She has served on the USS Registration, Legislation and Swim-A-Thon Committees.  She served as secretary of the Age Group Rules Committee as well as an alternate member of the Olympic International Division.  She was chairman and coordinator of the USS Phillips 66 Reimbursement.  She has attended every United States Aquatic Sports Convention since the inception of USAS in 1977.  She has served many years as a National Championship official both on and off the pool deck as Clerk of Course, Turn Judge, Ready Room Supervisor and Administrator.  In 1993, United States Swimming presented her with the Kenneth J. Pettigrew Award for her untiring service and dedicated volunteerism as a meet official.


In working with the athletes, she has been the team manager of National, International, World and Student Games Teams including trips to Germany, Romania, Russia, Columbia, Argentina, Great Britain, Mexico and Japan.  She served three times as the Olympic Festival head manager, her teams winning twice.  In 1995, she was the assistant team leader of the Pan American Swimming Team that competed in Argentina.


On the local level, Alice has been the mainstream of Florida Gold Coast Swimming, LSC, for over 30 years.  She has served as the Age Group Chairman, Registration and Membership Chairman, Records Chairman and the Official Verification Certification Chairman.  She has been on the Finance, Planning and Officials Club Committees, treasurer of Florida Gold Coast Swimming and the Rule book editor.  She has been a member of the Florida Gold Coast Executive Committee and the present Board of Directors.  Alice Kempthorne is the first name that comes to mind when information or help is needed from an athlete or coach within the Florida Gold Coast.  She is the "river of information" that flows through the organization.


But Alice's volunteer work does not stop there.  She serves other organizations such as the American Heart Association (fundraiser), the Republican Party, the Orange Bowl Committee and University of Miami Hurricane Club.


Alice's commitment to ISHOF continues to grow.  Besides having served as Chairman of the International Relations Committee, she continues to serve as Secretary and a member of the Executive Committee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.  Among her many other contributions, she helped to organize the first of the YMCA Nationals to be held at the Hall of Fame pool in the early 1970s.


Alice's sense of humor, her distinct laugh and her ability to see the job through, have distinguished her as a revered member of the aquatics community and a friend to all.  She and her late husband, Dick, were always on hand, to lend a hand.  Alice stands tall as the International Swimming Hall of Fame's and the International Swimming Hall of Fame Dames', Grande Dame.

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